Hacker Punishes Netflix for Refusing to Pay Ransom
New season of 'Orange Is the New Black' released early by hacker
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2017 12:36 PM CDT
A hacker claims to have uploaded the new season of "Orange Is the New Black" to a file-sharing site after Netflix refused to pay a ransom.   (Jojo Whilden/Netflix via AP, File)

(Newser) – A hacker going by The Dark Overlord claims to have stolen and released 10 episodes of the new season of Orange Is the New Black more than a month before its official release on Netflix. Variety reports the hacker was demanding an unspecified ransom from Netflix, uploading the first episode of the upcoming fifth season to a file-sharing site Friday as proof. The next nine episodes were uploaded early Saturday morning after The Dark Overlord claims Netflix refused to pay them. The hacker says they're "quite ashamed to breathe the same air" as Netflix, as they were being entirely "reasonable and merciful" with their ransom offer. Neither Variety nor the AP have been able to—legally—confirm the authenticity of the episodes uploaded by The Dark Overlord.

The new Orange Is the New Black episodes were apparently stolen months ago. Netflix says a production vendor "had its security compromised"; Variety identifies that vendor as Larson Studios, a post-production facility. The Dark Overlord says they weren't able to steal the final three episodes of the season because they weren't finished yet. The Dark Overlord told the AP in February they wouldn't release any of the stolen episodes; it's unclear why that changed. The hacker also claims to have stolen TV series from ABC, National Geographic, Fox, and IFC via the hack at Larson Studios. They're reportedly seeking a "modest" ransom for those as well. The leak of new Orange is the New Black episodes could hurt Neflix's subscriber numbers and stock price. The FBI is investigating.

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